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August 2021

A new way to explore, publicise and ultimately resolve the refereeing crisis is needed now

How to deal with the refs
Each day the Arsenal History Society site puts up an article about an Arsenal player or Arsenal event that has an anniversary on the day in question.  Today was the turn of Jérémie Aliadière to come under the microscope, and in preparing the piece I was reminded of the incident which could be seen as the first event that seriously called the refereeing of English football into question in the modern era.
The incident occurred when the player was given a red card for hitting Javier Mascherano on 23 February 2008.   Mascherano had already raised his hand to Aliadiere right in front of the referee.  Middlesbrough’s appeal was rejected by the FA and the ban increased to four games.  This was so ludicrous that even Harry Redknapp at Tottenham complained, comparing this treatment with that of  Michael Essien of Chelsea who had had an appeal upheld at the same time..
This article reminded me in turn that I have had a number of personal messages from people who don’t want to have their names mentioned here, but who are making suggestions as to what Arsenal might do about the situation concerning the referees in the Premier League.
My article “How Arsenal’s failure to act has caused the club problems” received over 140 comments (a significant number for Untold wherein the readership by and large is rather reticent), and so I guess that there is something of a feeling that a new way to explore, publicise and ultimately resolve the refereeing crisis in the Premier League, is needed now.
One set of suggestions that I rather liked went along these lines
Mr Wenger is known to have a good relationship with English team manager Hodgson, so might not Mr Wenger phone Mr Hodgson and discuss the following:
The current refereeing “spirit” (as Arsene Wenger has called it) is killing the English game.  It is years behind the way the game is being refereed internationally and in Europe, and as long as it continues in this vein the English national teams will suffer.
Furthermore talent like that of Wilshere, Walcott, Ox-Chamb, etc and many others (not only at Arsenal) will have short and injury riddled careers, and will never develop as they should and the English game will not develop.
Mr Wenger might also find it useful to send to Mr Hodgson a DVD of some of the Aston Villa game incidents.
Furthermore it is suggested that Mr Wenger asks Mr Hodgson to speak to the PGMO and express his concern.  As was pointed out in response to the earlier article if Mr Wenger raises the issue he is instantly branded a “whinger” or words to that effect, and the media will claim that Arsenal only complain because they have more players sent off than any other team.
That statistic is of course not true (although it never stopped the “50 red cards under Wenger” anti-Arsenal campaign that the press ran during the earlier days of the reign.   The numbers quoted were never true – as can be verified by the fact that the press always refused to compare Arsenal’s numbers with anyone else’s.)
Now our number of reds and yellows is high, but the behaviour of Arsenal players is not the cause.   Yet Mr Wenger cannot raise this in the media or direct with the PGMO.  So Mr Hodgson (who has weight in these matters) might be able to help.
I think it is also noticeable that since the infamous incident in which Mr Wenger was sent off for kicking a water bottle at Old Trafford, the way Arsenal are treated has become slightly more sophisticated (although the Villa game was a ludicrous example of desperate reversion to earlier tactics).
Contrary to popular belief I don’t actually have Arsene Wenger’s private mobile number, so I can’t drop the word directly, but I am given to understand that one or two people in the club is aware of Untold, so maybe the idea will get through that way.
At least against Fulham things seemed better, although the farcical attempt by BT Sprout (as Sid suggested we should call them yesterday) to “ask the ref” who always says that the ref on the pitch was always right, it clearly a ploy to tell us that everything is ok, and that it is just Arsenal making a fuss again.

47 comments to A new way to explore, publicise and ultimately resolve the refereeing crisis is needed now

  • Shard

    Sorry Tony but I think you are being unfair to BT, or rather to Mark Halsey on BT. Halsey has been pretty public in his desire for refereeing to be more open and transparent, as well as adopt more technology. That might all be a put-on but I think it unlikely, and I think it unfair to pre-judge his outlook as always being supportive of the referee. Howard Webb’s decisions in the game yesterday might not all have been correct, but I don’t think any were egregious errors, and while I didn’t see the BT coverage, I think Halsey was probably right to support the ref.

    I did see the BT coverage of the Emirates Cup, and Halsey said it was a dive by Drogba and that he should have been given a yellow card for it, rather than awarded a penalty. Of course , the stakes are higher in the PL, but I think you are being unfair in that regard.

    Vigilance, yes. Halsey might also get it wrong, or indeed be biased. But dismissal, no. We need more ex-referees to put themselves in a sustained media spotlight and be open to questions on the state of refereeing.

    As for Hodgson. Maybe. But he’s just an employee of the FA. If the FA don’t care about it, as it appears they don’t, or if they do but are unable to do anything about it, since the league and the PGMO are separate entities, then Hodgson’s word will mean little, unless he goes public, and I don’t think he’ll want to risk his own reputation. He’ll be open to the same charge of making excuses for his own failures as Wenger is.

  • Shard

    I’ll try and come up with something constructive too, so I’m not just dissing your effort here. But at this moment in time, I don’t have a suggestion to make.

    I do think you are wrong about Halsey. AT least on the basis of what we’ve seen so far.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Oftentimes when the ref’s decisions goes against us this funny story comes to mind .From –

    Trueman’s Fabulously Funny Cricketing Anecdotes ‘Owzat?

    Trueman bowls. Batsman is trapped plumb LBW. Trueman appeals. Not out.

    Next ball. Trueman ever-so-slightly irritated. Trueman bowls. Audible snick, ball deflects and sails upward, caught behind. Trueman appeals. Not out.

    Third ball. Trueman a little more irritated now. Trueman bowls. Through the gate, stumps spread-eagled, middle stump uprooted and cartwheeling. Trueman turns to the umpire and says with a wry smile, ‘We nearly had him that time, didn’t we?’

  • Macca

    Hi great article, I’m in two minds on this issue. Yes these players may need more protection to ensure they have a prolonged career, but part of me is still old school, and believes this is a contact sport and tackling has always been a part of that. I love all the great passing and moving, but you will also hear me cheering a perfect sliding tackle. Mr Owen pointed out yesterday during the comentry, that Arsenal seem to be suffering more with injuries in last few seasons, than they did in the past, and more players like Jack, seem more injury prone, which I felt was rich coming from a player that could hardly string a dozen games together. But look how the squad has evolved, when Arsene took over he had a big set of players (height & build) and he brought in more of the same with the likes of Viera and Petit, we had a physical team that could play good quick football. Now the squad contains much smaller built players, who are very agile but not up to the physical demands that is sometimes needed in the premier league. One note on yesterday’s refereeing and Halsey backing up the decisions, Ramsey got booked for his first foul yet Fulham players were just given a talking to because of the conditions, all I want is consistency.
    Keep up the great articles

  • Jambug

    Alas I feel you are fighting a loseing battle. The contempt and disrespect with which Arsenal, there fans, and Wenger inparticular, are treaty is so prevelent throughout all media platforms that, as sad as it is, it is a non starter.

    Someone may put me right on this because due to the negative coverage we recieve, I read, listen, and watch, as little as I can, prefering, if at all possible to just tune in and out of the match itself, and limit my reading to this forum. But, I have not noted ONE article or heard ONE coment that even suggests the ref in the Villa game was remiss in any way shape or form.

    Considering that was one of the most lamentable performances I have ever seen I find that remakable, if entirely predictable. The same thing happened following another diabolical refereeing performance in the game at OT when the Invincibles got mugged.

    To be honest I think Wenger has just given up and has resigned himself to that.

    I wish you luck in your quest to somehow, against all the odds, turn around this crazy anti Arsenal crusade so prevelant in ‘the game’ but saddly I feel you are on a hding to nothing, as you will soon see when I get a flood of replies telling me how ‘Paranoid’ I am, along with all my fellow goons who ‘think the Worlds against them’.

    Like Wenger I’ve resigned myself to the inevitable!!

  • Mark

    I think if untold could put together some videos of the mistakes, not just in arsenal games, but lots of games and post them on the web it would start to make a difference. Maybe some videos that show different ways that refs can and do manipulate the game. For example how the ref can effectively keep one team from playing, or how a ref can endanger players for one team by not calling fouls, or how they can make the mistakes in the big calls like goals, penalties and red cards. I think if there were more video instruction along these lines it would help.

    I also hope that you guys will keep on reporting about corruption in other leagues as I think the more that this is brought up the more likely it is that some of the authorities will finally “get it” that it can happen anywhere even in England unless the authorities constantly do those things that keep out the cheaters.

    I think videos that show positive bias might be good too. for example all the fouls that Rooney commits but are not called. Why does he get cut so much slack? There are just some players that get that, just as there are some players that get no slack but the refs are quick to punish. The video of all this has to be enough of the game to avoid being written off as mere opinion.

    One other idea would be could Untold start an “investigation” at a professional level. I would think that lots of folk my due with out a pint and contribute that to some folk that could seriously and full time investigate these matters. But if 60,000 fans gave 10 pounds there would be enough to start.

  • Pat


    Very funny story about Trueman!

    Tony, I am hoping that when the occasion arises, conversations along the lines you are talking about may already be taking place.

    The trouble is, the referees will get away with it as long as conversations take place, as one on Match of the Day yesterday, where managers praise their team for their hard play – the ‘it’s a man’s game’ line. I am sorry to say that some of my fellow Scots are particularly to blame in this regard.

    I read an interview recently with a former German team mate of Rosicky, who was saying that Rosicky was in line to be one of the best players in the world before he got his series of injuries. It is wonderful to see him playing so well again, but as long as games like ours against Aston Villa are allowed to happen, other talented players will run the risk of having their careers blighted. And for people who love good football, this is also a great loss.

  • colario

    I think Arsene should ask to Hodgson to go on his knees to the PGMO and most humbly ask that for the sake of the England’s world cup effort the PGMO protect Arsenal’s England players from the thuggery they are subjected to each game. The PGMO could do this by instructing referees to issue the appropriate yellow and red cards against the offenders.

    The mantra used to be of Arsene’s critics that he is an enemy of England for he doesn’t support England’s cause by having all foreigners in the team. Shame! Shame! Shame!

    Now, no one mentions that we now have in the squad and on the pitch at the same time 5 English players, Gibbs, Oxlade,Wilshire, Walcott, Jenkinson and then there is Ramsey who of course is Welsh.

    As Arsene kept faith in Ramsey ashe recovered from serious injury so the howlers howled at Arsene, ‘You don’t know what your doing!’

    Now game after game Ramsey is ‘Man of the match’.

    Do the critics admit they were wrong and that Arsene does know what he is doing? Of course not!

  • In my article where I listed the reasons why Arsenal haven’t won a trophy since 2005, I got well meaning suggestions from Untolders about including bias officiating on the list. I find bias refreeing so depressing that I tune it out, while hoping the team would always take their good chances with some good fortune. It’s my way of dealing with the unfair treatment.

    I insist that the media and our whiny fans make performances like Anthony Taylor’s possible. I cannot imagine the kind of shit-storm that he would find himself in if he had done that against Man United in ANY stadium across the country. You see, the press love Man United and no noisy section of their fans is not out to undermine the team. The reverse is the case for Arsenal.

    Contrast the reporting of our game with Villa with the latter against Chelsea. There was universal commiserations with Villa for being robbed. Please note that two penalties were not awarded against them and neither did they have any player unfairly sent off. They get sympathy for the ref not red cardding Ivanovic but there was no mention of their captain finishing a game against us that he never should.

    Compared to Arsenal, Aston Villa is a small club but bias in their favour were ignored while those against them were amplified. I don’t think the media cares about Villa; the difference in their treatment of the 2 teams only shows their contempt for Arsenal.

    I won’t object to Tony’s suggestion and campaign. At this point, we have nothing to lose. Good luck.

  • The point that I was trying to make that might have been lost due to my verbosity is that the media’s negative campaign against us coupled with our whiny fans, give the referees confidence that no matter how bad they may be against Arsenal, there would be little to no reporting of such, hence no repercussions.

    Example: Anthony Taylor got away with zero criticism, apart from the positive Gooners of course.

  • Gossy

    This might sound freaky but I told my mate while watching the Aston villa match that the english media or association wanted Arsenal to lose that match so that they’d have something to say about Arsenal not willing to spend. It turned out arsenal did lose and where seriously left in the sun for their inability to spend so far. The fans aint helping so far, we know wenger at the moment isn’t spending as much as we’d wish but he has done so much for the club and we have an obligation to show some respect cause he deserves it.

  • Jambug

    The reason players get cut so much slack is because refs know damn well which players they need to treat with kid gloves or they will get a backlash from there manager who will in turn be supported by the media.

    The biggest examples I can give of this ‘kid gloves’ treatment are Rooney(can’t quistion his enthusiam), Gerrard(can’t quistion his commitment) and scholes(can’t tackle, ha ha ha) there are others, they are usualy British and play for Man Utd Liverpool or Chelsea.

    Yet Vieira was constantly booked, sent off, and labeled as ‘dirty’ and, surprise surprise, always with full justification.

    As a footnote I’m sure Vieira is the only player to ever get a retrospective 5 match ban for saying to the ref, and I quote “you have no personalty”. This was said in a fiery exchange at the end of a particularly acramonious encounter between Arsenal and Sir Bobby Robsons Newcastle. Or equally as bizaarly, that a manager has received a 3 match ban for simply kicking a water bottle. Not even I might add in descent, but in frustration at us missing a far post sitter.

    My point is referees referee more on how they will be judged in the media as opposed to anything else. They know, that by and large, there career is safe if they don’t upset the likes of Fergie(now Moyes) or Maureen.

    Conversly they know if they give Arsenal a soft pen that MOTD, Goals on Sunday, TalkSport, will rip him to bits. Yet if he gives shit decisions against Arsenal the same media will do everything in there power to show how right he was. For a recent example of this look no further than Sheerers laughable attempt to justify Taylors penalty award against Kos. They did’nt even show our penalty appeal for the foul on Jack, let alone put it under the microscope.

    The refs referee on how they will be treated in the media. That is at the root of the problem.


  • Sam

    Tottenmuppets get another penalty in a 0-0 game; first 2 weeks of the season now; both pretty soft (that is to say, I’ve seen them not given against Arsenal PLENTY of times). Just rings of conspiracy.

  • Jon

    Hi everyone!
    It’s been a while since I last commented but I have been keeping up with the blog. Fabulous work by all involved, it is a welcome balm to constant negativity and nonsense spouted in the mainstream media and by all the ridiculous doubters on Arsenal and how we’ve progressed, not just in the last eight years but also for the whole period before.

    In answer to the point of the post, why don’t we just ASK? What I mean by this is: there are several questions posed by people who write for this blog and like-minded fans, and not just of Arsenal. However it seems that the people in a position ask the questions we ponder just don’t. The media should be breaking themselves in half to find out these answers, so if for some reason, they are impotent or prevented, maybe we should just cut out the middle man..?

    How could this be done? Maybe banners could be a solution? I am minded of the giant banner for Rambo unfurled after the Shawcross incident…maybe a banner could be unfurled at the stadium with a single question on it. Like for instance:
    “Why are there no Premier League referees from the South-East?”, “Where is the evidence that it all evens out in the end?” or “Why is a new half billion pound stadium and 16 years of Champions League football without making a loss considered a failure?” There could a series of these, with a different question every time.

    I realise that it’s frustrating that Arsenal aren’t going public with their concerns but maybe they don’t because they know it won’t work and/or there could punitive repercussions from this. The truth is that as well as the club are doing, Arsenal are still vulnerable and this will be the case until the stadium is all completely paid off. Perhaps the stadium banner thing would not be allowed, as an act of self-preservation by the club because they must realise (as I do after Anthony Taylor’s recent performance), that they could be crushed out of existence by bad “results”. As an alternative, perhaps flyers/posters outside the Grove or on the street leading to the Grove…then Arsenal could keep a comfortable distance from it. Maybe instead of banners, online petitions with the same sort of questions could be tried.

    I think the problem that Arsenal have is that most supporters are only asking the questions they see in the papers. If the fan base can be made to think about the questions asked here (for example), then at the very least, we could get a more conciliatory atmosphere at the Ems (once people realise that the current media propaganda is the result of a moronic thought process).

    I live in The Netherlands but I am originally from Essex. I have supported Arsenal my entire life (only 30-odd years, mind) and most people from my area also support Arsenal. Let me tell all those not from the UK, that the football chant: “Everybody hates us…”, actually applies to Arsenal. People look down on Arsenal and you can tell that from commentary and even talking to other fans. It’s a generational thing, no-one really even knows why anymore. Any reason to bash The Arsenal is welcomed by most, just look at the way Wenger and Ramsey were belittled when Shawcross happened. It was disgusting and remorseless. It made me ashamed to be an ex-journalist that media bent over backwards to excuse that neanderthal and then ashamed to be English when he got that England call up IMMEDIATELY after. BUT if other fans can be made to realise that it’s not just Arsenal supporters complaining, but it affects them too and they start asking questions in the media, OF the media, then whoa, things could start happening. At the very least, the refs would be forced to leave us alone. Maybe.

    The things talked about here affect all who buy into the Prem, whether it be paying for a season ticket or paying for a beer in the pub while the game is on. If the league is not impartial, if there is any impropriety at all then we are all being deceived. That is cowardice and thievery of the highest order and right-thinking people who love football cannot let that stand. I am bored of those Black Scarf morons constantly going on about direct action, maybe it’s time “we” took some direct action of our own…

    On a slightly different subject, Tony, I am a member of the AST and I too am seriously disgruntled at the apparent attitude of the executive. It seems like every question I get asked by them is about whether I find the management of Arsenal incompetent in some fashion and I feel like they just want to destablise the club in some way. And that statement they made after the first game was just the latest in a long line of “statements” that I didn’t countenance and wasn’t asked an opinion on. Peyton also annoys the hell out of me with his constant negative twittering and newspaper articles. Idiot. The AST feels a bit like a Trojan Horse for the Usmanov/AAA factor and at the moment I feel a bit like I’ve joined the wrong fan group (nudge, nudge ;-). I would like to know your thoughts on this and the previous point, of course everyone else is welcome also ;-). Is there any sense to what I’m saying or am I just still raging after Hatchet-Job Taylor?

    Right. Blimey, sorry all for the ridiculously long post, it’s just that I see my Club beset on all sides by c-nuts and I feel like the Manager, the team, they need our help and I want to help, even if it’s only with an idea or two. One thing is for certain: I love Arsenal, I love Arsenal. I know we’re not “perfect”, but I also know that we ARE righteous and that’s why everybody hates us. Fuck them. Class is permanent. COYG.

  • rantetta


    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    You clearly love Arsenal, of that there’s no doubt.

    I’ve been cogitating all day about what to write on this subject. Fortunately, the comments above yours already express a lot of what I feel – relating to this wonderful club.

    May I suggest you and others peruse this article – which was written prior to the Fulham game, in case you haven’t seen it:

    Today’s article on PA is also very good.

    Love to those who love The Arsenal.

  • Yassin

    Manchester City lost 3-2 two Cardiff City the newly promoted team. THEY SHOULD SPLASH THE CASH 🙂

  • Sam

    If only Manchester City had brought in 3-4 world class signings, this would never have happened. #Pelligriniout

  • Jon,

    As a resident ranter myself, I dare not complain about your post 🙂

  • Yassin

    All they need is a CB, GK, Defensive midfielder who can play RB, Winger and a World Class Striker and they are good to go….

    but really, Arsenal rarely,really rarely dive, Tottenham rarely DONT DIVE, so why soft penalties (I think its a dive) is always given to tottenham and not to Arsenal, is it incompetent or cheating?

    Oh sorry I forgot, we won yesterday and we can`t see him hear until we lose….. what a shame 🙂

  • Yassin & Sam,

    Manchester City is going to win the league indeed! They have splashed the cash on not just 3-4 world class signings but much more.

    Spurs have also only scored 2 goals by 2 penalties. But all these clubs are going to do better than Arsenal because they’ve “spent the fucking money”.

    I think those of us who place high premium on Arsenal’s stability will be vindicated in end. That is if the refs don’t continue to kick us in the nuts.

  • Yassin,

    Thanks for that link.

    I’ve never seen a clearer dive. Was the ref’s view blocked? And should he give a penalty if he did not really see contact?

  • Yassin


    I don`t know, we won yesterday and am happy, why should I spoil my day watching spurs being helped to win as always, I just searched for it cause Sam mentioned it was a soft penalty.

    The second question I think you are asking Walter not me, he is the ref, but you know, am now more interested to know the answer, so Walter what should an unbiased ref do?

    I mean what should a non-PGMOL ref do? cause a PGMOL ref will look straight at the players shirts, if its Arsenal who should get it dont` give it. if its against Arsenal then its definitely a penalty.

  • bjtgooner

    The idea of involving Hodgson and asking him to speak to the PGMOL, as described above, is a good one and should be followed up.

    However, I still feel that in addition the Minister of Sport – the ultimate authority – needs to be involved/embarrassed.

    Can we find one honest MP to question the Minister re the secrecy surrounding the PGMOL, the large number of errors made each week by refs in the EPL, the favouritism apparently shown by some refs towards certain teams etc? No mention to be made of Arsenal at this stage.

    Then there is the vast data base built up over the last few years under Walter’s supervision – what is the most effective way to use this?

    The media should be investigating the EPL ref situation, but don’t. They be of no help unfortunately just now, but should they later smell blood, they will get stuck in – but not necessarily report the whole truth!

  • WalterBroeckx

    I just pointed John Cross from the Mirror in to this direction and in to the website.

    Welcome John if you care and take a look around. You can always contact John Sinnot former BBC journalist who was amazed that a while ago our website in some articles predicted how the ref would act and it all came out in the game. Based on the numbers we have.

  • Sam

    It certainly is a dive, that is a good view of it.

  • Jon

    @Rantata Cheers for the link. A very nice read.

    @Bootoomee Great minds, sir, great minds…support Arsenal 😉

  • Jon

    @Rantetta (Sorry!!)

  • WalterBroeckx

    Do you remember the spuds fans coming over spouting abuse at the referee numbers and saying they didn’t get a penalty over the whole of last season.
    Today was a clear dive (didn’t see it last week so can’t judge) and they now managed 2 wins with 2 penalties (and one was a clear dive)

    Ah, maybe the PGMOL is busy to even things out???

  • Pat


    Thanks for the video link. That looks very much like a dive to me too.

    I wonder what Match of the Day 2 will say about it tomorrow? I can’t wait! Or rather, don’t hold your breath!

  • Dennis Brady

    Hurrah at last an article suggesting wenger is actually capable of mistakes. I have read some of your ref stuff and tho clearly arsenal centric there is some food for thought. But the fact is wenger is stuck in a combination of zen stuff, algorithms last updated in 1996 and a complete belief in his players. He refuses to prepare them for individual teams and players let alone refs eg bale cr7 and Birmingham Bradford and Blackburn and the embarassment if the carling cup extra time with reading last year, compare and contrast with what our neighbours have become. Wenger is stuck in the Stone Age btw does jack know something we don’t with his recent comments about le boss?

  • AL

    Jambug 11:41am & Jon 5:30pm
    Great posts guys. I am thinking of starting a petition which will be sent either to the FA or someone in charge of sport in the cabinet after collecting enough signatures.

    No surprise really about spuds getting a helping hand again. Just wondering, would it be possible to keep a tab on all the penalties that are handed out this season, with a column to say whether it was a correct or incorrect decision. I have a feeling they’ll, as they always do, weigh heavily in the end in deciding which team finishes where. For instance we have had two incorrect pens against us already, while spurs have had two in their favour already, which one of them shouldn’t have stood(maybe both, didn’t see the other one).

  • Sam

    Spurs 1st penalty was a ball off a defender’s arm on a cross from low – not exactly as if the player was about to shoot on net. Very harsh on Palace.

  • OMGArsenal

    Hello Gooners…..the prospect of changing a secret society like the PGMO is a challenge indeed. Keeping in mind that the three most important responsibilities of a referee and his/her assistants, in this order are:

    1)To control the game with respect to the application of the Laws and the management of said game (record keeping, timing, etc.), all firmly but FAIRLY,
    2)To PROTECT the players from serious injury by the timely and unbiased application of necessary sanctions, or a final decision with regards to the safety of the pitch or crowd behaviour,
    3)To ensure that no team involved gains an UNFAIR advantage by their actions on or off the field of play.

    Therefore, here are my suggestions for remediating this problem:

    1)UA and Arsenal need to coordinate a brief which will display, over a 2-3 year period, their claims that the officials have failed in the above 3 core requirements. This brief can contain audio-visual elements, statistics from UA and other referee analysis websites, a record of complaints from all clubs about poor officiating and whatever documentation can be obtained to support their case. The Club should also approach all the other EPL managers willing to attest to the facts stated in the brief. It should also request that the current setup of the PGMO be reviewed transparently and publicly with the objective of improving its functioning and service.
    2)This brief should be handed to the ministry of Sport or whoever represents the official government oversight on Football in the UK. A copy should also be sent to the FA,FIFA and EUFA. It should request an immediate investigation of allegations about officials and bias.
    3)If these bodies fail to respond or act in a timely or appropriate manner, then the brief should be sent to the EUFA sports judicial organization that oversees such sports-related mitigation.
    4)Failing any response from these people, the brief should be sent to every major media outlet in the UK for immediate publication. If they fail to follow through, the brief should be sent to every major European media outlet for publication.

    Only a concerted and coordinated effort might bring results, but as a skeptic at heart when it comes to the PGMO, I sincerely doubt that anything will change anytime soon.

    When it comes to Halsley, I agree with Shard….and as a former professional referee….I would never criticise a colleague in public….it isn’t constructive….but when we have a game like Taylor did then I would privately refer him to the assessors for a very thorough review.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Great work , guys .I’ll support whatever initiative that you take in whatever manner that need be .
    We badly need a ‘pressure group’ or some form of lobbyist to exert pressure on the PGMOL /press /newspapers/journos.
    In the meantime ,I see that the usual anal retentive posters are trying to divert the topic .
    Just shit it all out guys – you’d feel lighter and much better .See a proctologist for an easy passage . Just like this guy in this clip.



  • AL

    Like jambug already pointed out, the media plays a huge role in this ref bias, and they will need to be included in any form of complaint too. How many times have we heard them leap to the defense of an official by coming out with statements like its a difficult job, refs don’t have the benefits of replays, etc, after a ref makes an indefensible ‘mistake’. Well, we all appreciate it IS a difficult job, but why is it those mistakes only cost certain teams, and rarely(if ever) other teams? The minute a pattern emerges they cease being honest mistakes.

    The main issue imo is even smaller sides get favored against Arsenal, and they know it, which will make any action led by Arsenal fans not be in their interests. The only other time they face such ref injustices is when they are up against a handful of clubs such as utd or chelski. An example can be what happened with Villa recently; they got handed 3 points on a plate at Arsenal, and got some bad decisions against them v chelski the following week. Are their fans likely to be up in arms, maybe not. In their view the chelski game was unlikely to be won anyway so the bad decisions might not have affected the overall outcome. Thus they’ll be very grateful for the win against Arsenal( a game they also expected to lose) to make any meaningful noises about bad refereeing standards. A more subtle approach, perhaps an anonymous one hiding behind a banner of disgruntled football fans not from any one team in particular, might be a better option, to avoid a media backlash & possible retribution from the PGMO mafia. This can be driven by Arsenal fans, without explicitly putting our name at the forefront.

    By the way, Tony, I think you’re already doing something about this issue now by writing these articles; sure this isn’t going unnoticed by some of the concerned parties.

  • AL

    Not sure why my comment at 8:41 went into moderation; using my phone so it may have submitted the comment more than once.

  • Al – thanks for the final comment. I am never quite sure how much notice is taken of us. I know, because of the calls and comments that there is a fair awareness, but PGMO is resolutely sticking to its “batten down the hatches” approach.

    Anyway, I think you might enjoy the Monday morning article, which has just gone up.


  • Jambug

    I really want one of the iniciatives mentioned above to work. Saddly, as you may gather from my early posts I have my doubts.

    From the bad/biased anti Arsenal refereeing, to the fact so many Gooners have been turned against there own team, it all stems from the media.

    There is, and has been, an anti Arsenal agenda in the media for years.

    I believe the seeds of the dislike of all things Arsenal is rooted in the fact Wenger is French and he subsequently built his team around a French core. Lets be honest even before Wenger we’ve never been media darlings. ‘Lucky Arsenal’ ‘Boring Boring Arsenal’ where accusations thrown at us all through my early years as a fan back in the 70’s and 80’s. All it took was a frenchmen to turn us into an attractive, winning side to well and truely seal our fate.

    Call it Xenaphobia or just good old racism, but I beleive that is where it all really took on a completely new level of hatred.

    Nothing has changed. In fact it is worse. And part of the reason it is worse is because of the money and all the vested interests in keeping the trough well and truely overflowing.

    As a previous poster said the other day, football is like a Champagne fountain. The more that is poured in the top the further down the fountain the glasses are filled, and right at in the heart of the fountain is the media.

    The last thing they want is some French know-it-all showing them just how it can be done without the constant torrent of Champagne being poured in at the top.

    There is more to it all than that, but at the heart of it all is that Wenger is French, Arsenal are therefore seen as French, and the media hate the French. Whats more he’s not playing the game the way they want him to play it.

    It’s crass, sad, pathetic, shameful even, but hey it is the British Media we are talking about so it’s hardly surprising.

  • Jambug

    This Morning Sky Sports News sums up perfectly what I am saying.

    I’ve seen it, lots on here have seen it, the Sky editorial team have seen it. It’s a dive. Not debatable.

    This is what Skys Anchor has to say over the VT of the goal.

    “Spurs where awarded a penalty when Shelvy Tripped Towned”

    No ‘Contraversual’ not even ‘soft’ and no mention of a ‘dive’ (yet another Spurs player diving.) and certainly no hint that he was in fact a ‘Cheat’ Nope, it WAS a penalty, no doubt about it.

    Can you imagine how Sky would be treating us if we won not just one but two matches on the back of dodgey penalties. I know taken in isolation it is a small thing but my point is how indicative it is of how the same things are percieved, and in consquence, reported, depending on who the incident involves.

    On another point, I hav’nt read the papers so I may have to be corrected on this but I bet the SUN has’nt plastered there back page with a piss tacking ritual humiliation of Man City. You know, like they did a year or 2 ago when we lost to newly promoted Swansea. If you remember it was based on how much Arsenals richly assembled cast of expensive Millionaires (Ironic that as the Sun are one of the most verciferous in there condemnation of the fact we DONT actually spend ENOUGH money. You could’nt make it up, but I digress) had been humilitated by a rag tag bunch of yokels from the Welsh Valleys that had been assembled on a pittance.

    To be fair it’s only one game and in the great scheme of things it means very little but as recent events have shown thats never stopped them when it comes to systematically carrying out a ritual humiliation of Arsenal at the drop of a hat.

  • Jambug

    I’m really sorry to go on like this but I just want to tie in what I’m saying about how media reporting and refereeing decisions are interconnected.

    lets start from the basis that Referees see SKY Sports and read the papers like most people.

    That being said they’ve all seen what we’ve seen. Spurs have been awarded another soft penalty. In fact, it was a dive. They’ve also seen that nobody gives a shit. The refs untouched. Not critised, not held to task, his integrety unquistioned, his job is safe. Phew, thats alright then.

    Compare that to the media reaction to a dodgey arsenal penalty. Divers, cheats, ruining the game and whats more the crappy, useless ref was conned. He was in fact complicit because as we all know the ‘Big Clubs’ (well Arsenal at least) get all the decisions.

    In other words, give a dodgey, soft, penalty to Arsenal and you are ridiculed as being mugged of, rubbish at your job, and worst of all your honestly and integrity are called into quistion. Do that too often and your job could be jeoperdy.

    On the other hand dish out penalties to Spurs, United etc and everything in the garden is Rosey.

    Ask yourself, if you was a ref what would you do?


  • Finsbury

    Good Morning Untold,

    I heard a plug for the Referee Decisions site by a co-presenter or guest on talksport by the guest/co-presenter on the Jonny Vaughan show, just after 12.30 before kickoff on Saturday. They even called for more volunteer refs to help, which made me listen twice! I took the bizarre and bewildering incident be a good omen for the Fulham game and so it proved.

    A plug on Talksport:It’s hard to understand how such a thing could have happened! : )

    I thought this was just a site for conspiracy theorists ; )

  • Jambug

    Before anyone says, yes I’ve seen Dermot Gallagher point out that it was’nt a pen.

    Perversly though it enforces my point. Because I’m not saying that under a calculated Q and A by and large people wont call it as it is. It’s almost impossible not to. (Though I’ve seen some try). But still the ref and the player have got away with it. No hysterics. Not mentioned: DIVE, CHEAT, SHAME, CON, SPURS HAVE A HISTORY OF THIS Etc. Etc. All the above would/do get banded about when it’s us. Not mentioned: FAVOURING THE BIG TEAMS. THE REFS WILL BE LOOKING FOR TOWNEND DIVEING NOW. All things that would/have been said if it was one of our players, just to ensure everyones on the lookout next week for those cheating Goons !!

  • bjtgooner

    Dermot Gallagher on Sky a few minutes ago discussing the Townsend penalty incidents admitted: –

    The first penalty incident – was a penalty – but not given because the ref & linesman could not see the 18yd line!

    The second incident – was not a penalty – no real explanation as why this was given – suggestion from SKY interviewer that the ref was trying to even up for the first mistake!

    So – two wrong decisions – Gallagher could not hide the errors.

  • bob

    “when we have a game like Taylor did then I would privately refer him to the assessors for a very thorough review.”
    Who are the assessors? PGMOL’s own. And independent hireling of the PGMOL? FA related? Who?

    Imo, to say “the media” is too general. Let’s get into who is the media? Are some outlets opinion leaders (agenda setters) that others follow or at least check before taking their own slant on things? I’d say so. Then the question is who owns these and who they are in bed with….etc.

  • bob

    Dermot Gallagher has to establish his credibility so that he can explain away the refshite in the matches that really matter. As you suggest, Spurs can be sacrificed as small potatoes. It’s the meat that must be preserved in their toxic stew.

  • OMGArsenal

    bob……normally the assessors are retired officials, either former EPL or FIFA referees (or both) who are assigned by the PGMO to evaluate each official over the season. I know it sounds like the foxes running the henhouse, but you need offickials to evaluate other officials (as Walter can attest to) since it takes a referee to know what to look for and to be objective. Perhaps there needs to be an independent assessing body, outside the PGMO’s aegis and one that answers directly to EUFA or FIFA?